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Northeast Wisconsin's local news coverage.

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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - The humane officer for the Green Bay Police Department is receiving threats after some people are claiming she was insensitive while removing an apparent exotic animal from its home.

    “She's received a barrage of negative, just nasty emails, phone calls, postings on Facebook about her,” said Chief Andrew Smith of the Green Bay Police Department.

    The comments are in response to pictures, now spread across the internet, that show the officer smiling with what is believed to be an exotic animal.

    The owner's son and girlfriend told officers it is a wolf-dog hybrid.

    The officer took the wolf-dog from its owner, not only because exotic animals are illegal to keep as pets in Green Bay, but it's also accused of biting a young child, unprovoked.

    Smith tells FOX 11 the police department shared the pictures earlier this week to educate the public that exotic animals are illegal in the city.

    “The fact that she's smiling in a photograph is just what people do when they get their picture taken.”

    People aren't happy about the smiling, however.

    Here are the contents of a message a Racine woman left on the humane officer's voicemail:

    “You are the worst human I have ever seen. I just saw your smiling face after the hybrid wolf bit a child, which is not the dog's fault and your seen smiling left and right. You have no sympathy or empathy for this poor animal.”

    Even with the threats, Chief Smith says the humane officer will continue her duties as she normally would.

    “She is a really dedicated individual and she loves what she does and she's a fantastic humane officer, so she's going to continue on doing exactly what she has been doing."

    As for the animal's owner, Brian Schoen, he received $1,630 in fines.

    Police say Schoen has a history of having exotic or dangerous animals in the city, which dates back to 2004.

    The Wisconsin Humane Society is monitoring the animal for rabies and is testing to confirm whether it is part wolf.

    If the animal has rabies, state law requires it be euthanized.

    The Humane Society is evaluating all options if it is part wolf and does not have rabies.

    If it's just a dog, it could be returned to its owner.


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    APPLETON, WI (WTAQ) - Five Appleton Officers will not be charged in the shooting death of a man who threatened harm with a shotgun earlier this month. 

    Outagamie County District Attorney Melinda Tempelis says the officers were justified in the shooting death of 50-year-old David Robinson.

    Officers were called to the 100 block of S. Matthias Street for a disturbance on May 7. Five officers were on scene. 

    Through the investigation, a neighbor and Robinson's wife revealed that David Robinson was intoxicated and expressed signs that he wanted to end his life. 

    According to the report, Robinson's wife contacted 911 once she noticed that he obtained one the firearms that she hid earlier.

    Five officers Nathan Hoffman, Brandon Schnese, Ryan Schroeder, Frank Wychgram and Tom Zieman arrived on scene and confronted Robinson outside of this house. The investigation showed that Robinson had the shotgun in his hand.

    According to Tempelis, officers tried multiple times to get Robinson to put the shotgun down, and tried multiple times to talk with him. 

    Body camera video showed that Robinson verbally expressed that he was loading the gun and that he charged it. 

    Tempelis says once Robinson pointed the shotgun in the direction of the officers, they had every reason to act quickly. 

    All five officers subsequently fired 12 shots at Robinson. The Milwaukee medical examiner said Robinson was hit 10 times. 

    Tempelis confirmed Robinson's shotgun was not loaded.

    The Green Bay Police Department led the investigation into the shooting.


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    HOWARD, WI (WTAQ) - Some businesses are having a hard time filling job openings in NE Wisconsin, and the Greater Green Bay YMCA is no exception.

    But they do have a staff that's fiercely loyal to the mission.

    It's 'Love What You Do Week' at the Y...where people like Adriana Adamski, who works at the West Side Y in Howard, says this is anything but a 'job'.

    "It's a compassionate place to be. We have so many programs that help so many different people in our community that are going through different things."

    She started going to the Y as a 14-year-old and fell in love with the offerings and opportunities.

    "Someone at the front desk pulled me aside and said you're here every day, why don't you get a free membership and kind of learn some things and I have not been able to leave since."

    Marcia Sengstock, is the Member Experience Director in Howard.

    "It's more than just....you make a difference and that, at the end of the day, makes a difference."

    Sengstock says being part of something big seems to be the common denominator among the staff.

    "I think a lot of it has to do with the mission of the Y. That we aren't just a health and fitness club, that I can have someone come in that's going through some difficult times and I can help them be a part of the Y."

    Working with kids, working with seniors, leading exercise classes, or running the front desk. Sengstock says the help wanted sign is out.


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  • 05/25/18--16:30: Bad Day To Buckle
  • SHAWANO COUNTY, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - Drivers in Shawano County encountered a large obstacle to kick off the holiday travel weekend.

    The heat Friday afternoon caused the pavement on Highway 29 to buckle across both westbound lanes between Pittsfield and Angelica.

    The road was closed for two hours, and Shawano County Sheriff Officials worked to get traffic going again. 

     “I can't think of a worse time, maybe the 4th of July weekend, but Memorial Day Friday, I don't really think it was the best time to have Highway 29 buckling up,” said Deputy Craig Rekoske of the Shawano County Sheriff’s Department.  

    Rekoske says road buckling in the heat is not uncommon, it was just a bad day for it to happen.  

    “This is probably the most significant buckling, not only due to the time of the year with Memorial Day, but also how much it was of the entire highway,” said Rekoske.  

    Rekoske told Fox 11 that they had to act quickly.  

    “So with a short-term fix, they take what is commonly referred to as a cold press or a cold blacktop solution that doesn't need to be heated. The blacktop will then harden enough for cars to go over.”  

    A detour was put in place while crews worked on getting cars back on the road.  

    No injuries occurred, but some vehicles suffered damage.   


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ)- A Green Bay man has been indicted by a federal grand jury for child porn charges.

    34-year-old Lucas DaPra is facing sexual exploitation of children charges, along with distribution of child pornography and possession of child pornography.

    Investigators reported finding photos and videos in DaPra's home.


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    FOX CROSSING, WI (WTAQ)- The name of a man who was fatally shot by officers Wednesday in Fritse Park has been released.

    25-year-old Joshua Gomoll of Kaukauna was confronted by officers after they were called out to Trestle Trail for a report that he was acting erratically with a knife.

    Officers tried to treat Gomoll, but he died.

    The investigation is ongoing.


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  • 05/26/18--06:20: Musky Season Is Underway
  • GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - The season opener for a prize fish begins today (SATURDAY).

    Anglers fishing the line north of U.S. Highway 10, can catch and keep the musky.

    In the waters of Green Bay, the Great Lakes Spotted Musky has become a trophy fish for anglers from around the region.

    The fish can grow to be four feet or more.

    But experts say because of the late spring, the muskies are just starting to spawn, and anglers fishing the Fox River need to be careful not to target fish in the shallows.

    Some area hot spots include the eastern shoreline of the Bay and north toward Door County.

    Jeff Tilkens, with Smokey's on the Bay Bait Shop, tells FOX 11 to get this fish on the hook is a dream.

    "It's the fish of a lifetime. When you want to catch one of these fish, your knees will be shaking, It's an unbelievable experience. That's why people are coming to Green Bay to fish these fish."

    The bag limit for musky is one fish per day.

    There's a 40-inch size limit on inland lakes.

    But on Wisconsin-Michigan boundary waters, which includes Lake Michigan and the waters of Green Bay, the legal limit is 54 inches.


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    OSHKOSH, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - A grant awarded to the Oshkosh Area School District will allow it expand after-school learning programs at one of its schools.

    The Department of Public Instruction awarded the district a $100,000 Community Learning Grant to develop a Community Learning Center at Smith Elementary.

    The grant also allows the opportunity to renew for the next four years, for a grand total of $500,000.

    Julie Conrad, Oshkosh Area School District Director of Curriculum and Assessment, tells FOX 11, the extended-day programs inspire students to learn in a safe environment.

    "We are excited to bring this important programming to Smith Elementary School. The mission of our Community Learning Centers is to empower students socially and academically by providing unique extended-day learning opportunities in partnership with school, families, and the community. Our programming offers so much more than homework help and this funding will allow us to continue to meet the needs of the Smith community."

    The center will be ready for students in fall.

    With this addition, the school district will be home to eight Community Learning Centers.


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    DE PERE, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - For many, Memorial Day weekend means the start of grilling season.

    At True Value Hardware in De Pere, that means a busy weekend.

    With temperatures on the rise, the hardware shop hired extra help to get everyone what they need for their summertime projects.

    But the store's manager, Allen Hoopingarner, tells FOX 11 the April blizzard may also be a reason for the busy weekend.

    "Ah that kind of caused Spring to be compacted, so normally we get a couple months of Spring now it's been about a month so we're actually seeing more customers in a smaller amount of time."

    Hoopingarner says the two most popular items so far are grills and lawnmowers.


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - Green Bay Police reporting a man in his early 50s was taken to the hospital for arm and neck injuries after a motorcycle crash.

    On Saturday, just before 11, officers were called to Highway 54/57 between Algoma and Huron Roads, for reports that a man had fallen off his motorcycle.

    The driver says that he lost control of his motorcycle after it went over the rumble strip.

    An ambulance was called after that, and he was taken to the hospital.


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    GREEN LAKE, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - The Green Lake County Sheriff's Department has recovered a male body from Big Green Lake.

    Several calls were made about a possible drowning victim at the lake Saturday afternoon.

    Sheriff's deputies say the boat patrol found the male's body at approximately 7:15 p.m. in 109 feet of water.

    The body was then recovered at about a half an hour later.

    The Green Lake County Coroner's Office pronounced the male dead at the scene.

    The identity of the male has not been released.


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    MANITOWOC, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - A 16-year-old from Valders is dead after a crash between a pickup truck and a motorcycle.

    The Manitowoc Police Department says Christopher Barlament was headed east on the 3800 block of Calumet Avenue in Manitowoc around 10:30 Saturday morning.

    That's when a 70-year-old Valders man driving a pickup truck turned left, into the path of the motorcycle.

    Barlament was taken to the hospital for his injuries, where he died soon after he arrived.

    He was wearing a helmet at the time of the crash.

    The driver of the pickup truck was not hurt.

     

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    On Saturday, at 10:30 AM, responders from the Manitowoc Police Department and Manitowoc Fire and Rescue responded to a report of a pickup truck versus a motorcycle accident in the 3800 block of Calumet Avenue.

    Witnesses told officers upon their arrival that a 2002 GMC pickup truck, being operated by a 70-year-old male from Valders, was westbound on Calumet Avenue, while a 2001 Kawasaki motorcycle, operated by a 16-year-old male, also from Valders, was eastbound in the same block of Calumet Avenue, when the pickup truck turned left into the path of the motorcycle.

    The 16-year-old motorcyclist was taken to Holy Family Medical Center for treatment of his injuries.

    The operator of the pickup truck was uninjured.

    The Wisconsin State Patrol assisted with a reconstruction of the accident scene, while the Manitowoc Police Department drone was used to take video and still photographs of the scene to assist with the investigation.

    The investigation into the accident is on-going. Anyone with information is encouraged to call the Police Department Shift Commander at 686-6551.


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  • 05/28/18--04:31: WW II Hero Laid To Rest
  • NEENAH, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - The remains of a 26-year-old Marine who died in WWII were finally brought home to Neenah this week, and Saturday the funeral took place on a very fitting Memorial-weekend.

    Sergeant Elden Grimm’s funeral consisted of full military honors.

    A salute and shots of rifles from the local Honor Guard paid respects to the Marine.

    Grimm's closest living relative is a niece Margaret Kersten.

    She was presented with the burial flag by Captain Nicholas Pecoraro.

    “It's amazing, it's amazing,” Pecoraro tells FOX 11.

    “It’s my first time doing a repatriation for a “Marine from WWII.”

    The Kersten family didn't know the Grimm family, still, they get emotional.

    “When you think about it he was 24 years old,” said nephew-in-law Gerard Kersten.

    “It’s hard to think about, 24 years old, he gave mom a hug and walked out the door, and for 75 years he didn’t come back.”

    A tombstone already at the cemetery made it clear to his family that this is where he belongs.

    People from around Wisconsin and local veterans gathered in Neenah Saturday to say goodbye to a man they never knew.

    This weekend the country observes and pays tribute to the many people who gave the ultimate sacrifice.

    Grimm's memory is a representation of what this holiday is all about, and he’s proof that it's never too late to come home.


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    DE PERE, WI (WTAQ) - Thanks to a couple of good Samaritans Sunday, eight people are home safe today.

    The De Pere Fire Department reports a boat lost power while on the Fox River and those on board needed help just before 5 Sunday afternoon.

    When officials spotted the boat, it was underneath the Claude Allouez Bridge being pulled toward the dam.

    Eight people, which included five children and three adults, were on the boat.

    But firefighters were able to flag down a jet skier to help.

    The man on the jet ski hooked onto an inflatable and pulled seven people to the boat launch.

    Officials flagged down another boater who was able to hook onto the boat that lost power and pulled it to safety.


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    DE PERE, WI (WTAQ) - Crews called out to battle fires on two barges on the Fox River Sunday night.

    Crews from the De Pere Fire Department say the barges were used to set off fireworks for Celebrate De Pere.

    Eventually, Green Bay's firefighting boat was called into the put out the flames.

    The barges were anchored to the bottom of the river.

    Officials say no one was injured and the public was never in danger.


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    GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ)- As summer vacations are being planned, studies show many Wisconsin residents will be doing their vacationing right in the Badger state.

    "About 50 percent of the travelers in Wisconsin, come from Wisconsin, so people really love to explore the state.

    Wisconsin Department of Tourism PR Coordinator Kristina LeVan says that is because Wisconsin has a lot to offer, and has some advantages over other states.

    "We are ranked number one in family friendless and fun in a worry-free atmosphere, compared to our midwest competitors."

    Wisconsin is a four-season tourism state, but LeVan says state parks and outdoor resources are some summer highlights. 

    "Whether that is in their own backyard, or at a state park, we see people love to spend time in state and keep their money right in Wisconsin and boost those tourism dollars in the local economy."

    LeVan says the affordability of fun in Wisconsin keeps people here.

    "They know that they are going to get those fantastic outdoor resources, LeVan says. They know that if they stay at a resort or a waterpark it is going to be affordable and they can bring their whole family, and they are going to have a good time."

    www.travelwisconsin.com offers ideas for waterside campsites, dog-friendly vacations, and summer resorts to highlight what Wisconsin has to offer in the summer.

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    OSHKOSH, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - The Military Veterans Museum and Education Center in Oshkosh held a Memorial Day dedication for its newest display, which pays tribute to those who’ve fought against the War on Terror.

    Two Wisconsin Marines who died in Iraq in 2004 are at the center of the new display:

    Private First Class Brent Vroman, a 2001 graduate of Omro High School, and Lance Corporal Daniel Wyatt, a 2001 graduate of Racine Horlick High School.

    Bill DeGroot, Vroman’s stepfather, tells FOX 11....

    “It's certainly wonderful for us because it keeps the memory of our son and his sacrifice alive."

    A painting from a picture taken of Vroman while serving in Iraq hangs in the new display.

    It hangs next to a mannequin Wyatt.

    Ron Twellman is president of the Military Veterans Museum and Education Center

    “When we think of veterans, we think of people who are older, who served in past wars, but it's happening every day now, so there is no end in the amount of new veterans and especially in this case where they're veterans who sacrificed their lives for our country.”

    Like almost all the artifacts you'll find in the museum, the items in the new display were donated, including the painting of Vroman.

    It's from Appleton painter Tim Mayer, who has a nonprofit that honors fallen soldiers from Iraq and Afghanistan.

    “It means everything,” DeGroot said of the painting.

    “He was only there from September until December and in that time he developed relationships with the local children and did his service. I think that's not only a representation of his service but the service of all the military.”

    For Wyatt's mannequin, his family donated the clothing, some of which was issued to him and returned to the family after his death.

    The display at the Military Veterans Museum is permanent.

    It can be seen during the museum's public hours, which are from 10 am to 5 pm, Friday through Sunday.


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    SHAWANO, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) - At the heart of Woodlawn Cemetery, sits a renewed Veterans Memorial site.

    "This is the first Memorial Day service held in the new area, so we're very proud of it," said Mayor Ed Whealon.

    Whealon tells FOX 11 the site was completed earlier this year, honoring each branch of the military.

    "The benches, the stones, a lot of the flag poles were all new, the planting and American flag. The plantings and flags here were all donated."

    Whealon said the year-long project was only possible with the help of community members.

    "Had a number of donations totaling $25,000 to redevelop and improve this area."

    The new development and Memorial Day ceremony drew a large number of veterans, including Kevin Barkow.

    Barkow told FOX 11, the memorial not only honors those who died defending the country but also veterans who suffer from Post -Traumatic Stress Disorder.

    "The memories of what happened in the war, and it just gets to the point where they can't take it anymore and they take their own lives and we want to honor those people as well. And we have to do something as a nation to take care of them."

    Supporters like Sheriff Adam Bieber marked his squad car with different military branches, hoping to get a message across.

    "You give a piece of yourself when you sacrifice in the armed forces; I just want to make sure we honor them, not just once a year, but 365 days a year," said Bieber.

    Parts of the Chapel in Woodlawn Cemetery was also renovated.


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    KAUKAUNA, WI (WTAQ) - Improper disposal of smoking materials is being blamed for a fire on the balcony of an apartment in Kaukauna.

    Firefighters were called to the Trail Park Apartments, 715 Saunders Rd., around 5 a.m. this morning.

    When crews arrived they found that a board connecting the balcony to the building was burning.

    The fire was contained to that area and put out within 20 minutes.

    The person living in the apartment told firefighters she had been smoking out on the balcony before the fire started.

    No one was hurt, and the people in the apartment were allowed to return.

    Damage has been estimated at $10,000.


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    APPLETON, WI (WTAQ)- Update: Appleton Police say the suspicious package that they were investigating was a briefcase that contained a bunch of papers. Officers are still trying to figure out how the briefcase got there in the first place.

    The area of the Outagamie County Administration Building on South Walnut Street in Appleton is closed as officers are investigating a suspicious package.

    The department is investigating what looks like a briefcase on the curb.

    Appleton police call the procedure cautionary.

    The Brown-Outagamie County Bomb Squad has been called in to help in the investigation.


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